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BLET distributes gifts from Perrien Fund in Hurricane Harvey relief effort

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, December 26 — In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the BLET’s National Division Advisory Board approved an expansion of its Gary Perrien Fund to provide financial assistance to members living in Texas and Louisiana who had suffered losses from the storm. Thanks to the generosity of BLET members and officers, the Perrien Fund raised more than $91,000, which was distributed to impacted members in the days before Christmas.

On December 20, 2017, the BLET’s Executive Committee — consisting of National President Dennis R. Pierce, First Vice President E. Lee Pruitt, and National Secretary-Treasurer Stephen J. Bruno — mailed the checks to 17 members. “While no one can ever be made completely whole having endured such an event, it is our hope that this small token of generosity from the membership of our Brotherhood will help in your recovery from this Disaster,” they wrote.

The Gary Perrien Fund was originally established by action of the delegates at BLET’s Second National Convention in 2010. Brother Gary Perrien, then an active member serving on the Convention’s Arrangements Committee, fell ill and the delegates passed the hat to assist in his recovery. In a televised report back to the convention from his hospital bed, Brother Perrien asked that the funds be used to help those more needy than him, leading the delegates and the Advisory Board to later create the Gary Perrien Fund. Brother Perrien recovered and retired in the years following the 2010 Convention.

As part of the expansion of the Fund in August, the BLET Advisory Board also authorized President Pierce’s request that $20,000 be transferred from the Union’s General Fund to the Perrien Fund as part of the associated fund raising effort on behalf of the Union’s members harmed by the storm. In the days and weeks that followed more than 70 BLET General Committees of Adjustment, State Legislative Boards, Local Divisions, and individual members made donations to more than quadruple the National Division’s initial $20,000 gift.

“I am proud of the overwhelming level of generosity shown by our members, officers, Divisions, State Legislative Boards and General Committees of Adjustment,” President Pierce said. “For nearly 155 years now, our Brotherhood has thrived on the principle of members helping members and this is a shining example of what it means to be a Brotherhood.”

Tuesday, December 26, 2017
bentley@ble-t.org

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